Howard Everett Kreidler – Brigadier General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Retired March 1, 1971


Brigadier General Howard E. Kreidler is deputy director of operations (J-3), U.S. Strike Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

General Kreidler was born in Tilden, Nebraska, in 1920. He graduated from Madison Public High School, Madison, Neb.; Compton Junior College, Calif.; and the University of Maryland. While attending junior college, he completed civilian pilot training and obtained his private pilot license and instrument rating. He entered the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1942 and received his commission as Second Lieutenant and his pilot wings in July 1942.

For the next nine months General Kreidler was an instructor pilot with the 34th Bombardment Group, Spokane, Wash., and the 382d Bombardment Group, Tucson, Arizona. From April 1943 to August 1945, he served in England as squadron commander and group operations officer with the 445th Bombardment Group; director of operations, 2d Combat Wing; and chief of staff, 95th Combat Wing. He completed 26 missions in B-24 aircraft over Germany. In August 1945 he returned to the United States and was assigned as director of personnel, Air Training Command, Keesler Field, Mississippi.

In November 1945 General Kreidler began his military airlift career with his assignment to Air Transport Command as chief pilot, Washington, D.C. In August 1946 he went to Hawaii where he served as director of traffic, Pacific Division, at Hickam Air Force Base. In July 1949 he returned to Washington, D.C., and was assigned to Headquarters Military Air Transport Service (formerly ATC) as assistant deputy director of operations and later as chief, Transport Operations Division. During this period he attended the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

General Kreidler went to Travis Air Force Base, California, in August 1952 as commander, 1501st Air Transport Group. He returned to Headquarters Military Air Transport Service as vice chief of staff and in July 1956 became commander, 1254th Special Missions Group, at Washington National Airport. He attended the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, from July 1958 to July 1959.

In July 1959 General Kreidler went to Iceland as deputy commander, Air Forces, Iceland (NATO). In January 1961 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, as chief, Transport Forces Division, and in February 1963 became deputy director of operations for Tactical Transport Forces.

He went to Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, in June 1964 and assumed duties as commander, 1608th Air Transport Wing, (redesignated 437th Military Airlift Wing). In August 1966 he became vice commander, Twenty-First Air Force, at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.

General Kreidler was assigned as deputy director of operations, (J-3), U.S. Strike Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in August 1967.

His military decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre with gold star.

He was promoted to the temporary grade of Brigadier General effective August 1, 1964, with date of rank July 18, 1964.

HILTON HEAD, SOUTH CAROLINA – Howard E. Kreidler, 86, died peacefully on the evening of Saturday, December 23, 2006 of complications from leukemia at The Fraser Center of The Seabrook on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

‘Doc' is survived by his wife, LaVerne, with whom he celebrated 64 years of marriage on December 28, 2006; and by his brother, Bill Kreidler and his wife, Jessie, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

He is also survived by his daughter, Linda, of Washington, D.C.; his son, Jerry, who resides in Falls Church, Virginia; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Doc was a wonderful brother born on a farm in Nebraska. Howard served in World War II as an U.S. Air Force pilot flying B-24 Bombers out of British bases for a period of two years. On one mission Howard and his crew were forced to ditch in the English Channel due to enemy fire and on another mission his plane took a direct hit. Kreidler, close to his target, continued to his target, dropped their ordnance and managed to get their plane back to England and with almost every crew member on the plane wounded to some degree, crash landed on the runway. As a result of this mission Kreidler was awarded the ‘Silver Star' for Valor. This award is third in precedence to the Medal of Honor.

Two of Kreidler's favorite duty stations were Commander of the ‘Presidential Fleet' at Washington, D.C. and as Wing Commander at Charleston Air Force Base, Charleston, South Carolina. While at his Charleston assignment, Kreidler was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

General Kreidler, a graduate of the University of Maryland, lived out his retirement life at Hilton Head Island with his wife, ‘Sug,' where they played golf and made many enjoyable trips cruising the entire East Coast of America in their boat, ‘Toy Yacht.'

Laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery 19 March 2007.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment